Michael Ray Larkins
Michael Ray Larkins passed away peacefully on Friday, May 27, 2022, after a long battle with cancer and heart failure. He was surrounded by family and friends who played an active role in his care until the very end. Mike was born on March 10, 1950, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Clifton James Larkins and Virginia Kartchner.
He grew up in Kaysville, Utah and graduated from Davis High School where he served as Seminary President in his senior year, which would prompt his passion for teaching seminary and institute for many years. He also loved participating in Debate, basketball, and playing tight end in football.
He married his eternal companion Deborah Ann McIntire in the Salt Lake City temple on August 23, 1973 and had always said that they were “equally yoked.” They have two sons, Tyler and Devin. He coached multiple soccer and basketball little league teams for his boys. He and Debbie were always welcoming to their sons’ friends, providing a “second home” with plenty of food, fun, and conversations. They had many memories and experiences of joy and love as a tight-knit family unit.
Mike earned a Political Science degree from Weber State University, a master’s in Public Administration from Brigham Young University, and studied Business Administration as a PhD course at the University of Utah. He worked for Sinclair Oil Corporation and the Little America Hotel Corporation for ten years. He was the Senior Vice President for Franklin Covey/Franklin Quest for thirteen years—he was actually the 13th employee of the company, and he established the Franklin operations in Japan. These were both unique and glorious experiences in his life. Mike served on numerous boards and had various work experiences and business ventures that allowed him to travel extensively to Asia and Europe—he had a Million Miler status with airlines. But the most important thing to Mike was making a difference in people’s lives and cultivating lifelong friendships with those he met along the way.
As a young man, Mike accepted a mission call from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Japan Tokyo Mission in 1969 to 1971. His love for the Japanese people would expand when he was later called to serve as Mission President in the Japan Sapporo Mission along with his wife, Debbie, in 1999 to 2002. For three years, they served with all their might, mind, and strength and would positively impact many lives, including the near 500 missionaries who were under their stewardship. This connection with their missionaries would prevail up until the very end of Mike’s life—Mike and Debbie were involved in the lives of their missionaries and were connecting with them regularly via Zoom meetings. Mike also served in many church callings, and the most memorable ones were as bishop of the 41st Ward, as a counselor in the Stake presidency for seven years, and the high council. His favorite, however, was teaching institute with Debbie and gospel doctrine for over 20 years.
Mike was a teacher. He gave “intelligent, clear-cut answers” to life’s purposes. His life was one of service, sacrifice, and fulfillment. He had a burning testimony of Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Parents, and the Restored Gospel. He was grateful for the mercy, merits, and grace of Christ’s Atonement, and his covenant relationship. Mike was an improver in the kingdom, and through his writing, speaking, and teaching engagements, he would help others see the folly of this world and the futility of seeking after the praise and honors of men.
One of the greatest joys in Mike’s life was spending time with his sons, daughters-in-law, and his grandchildren—he was actively engaged in the details of their lives. Grandpa Mike had a special, close bond with his three grandchildren. He treasured them and knew them individually on a deep level. He was both a father and grandfather to them, offering them advice, support, and unconditional love. There were also many people whom Mike considered to be family, even though they did not share the same DNA. He liked to process ideas and enjoyed long conversations with his friends.
Mike’s mission in life was to “see things as they really are,” realize what really matters, and to consecrate his whole soul to God’s work and glory. He was focused on “becoming” rather than “having” or “doing.”
Mike enjoyed flowers and having a beautiful yard, Utah Jazz games, Ute football, good meals, movies, and reading and studying. His favorite places to travel were Japan; San Diego, California; Hawai’i; Grand Junction, Colorado; New England; and Disneyland—but the place that breathed life into his soul was Sun Valley, Idaho.
He is survived by his wife, Debbie; his siblings Frank Clifton (Vicki), Gary Lee (Trudy), and Robyn Kay Wheeler (Steve); his children Tyler (Akiko) and Devin (Precy); and his grandchildren Makayla, Mikah, and Kai.
The family would like to thank the many Alta View Hospital and IHC Hospice and Home Care physicians, nurses, and aides who went above and beyond in providing such kind and competent care. Special thanks to Dr. Justin Mansfield, Dr. Daria Davidson, and Dr. Jillian Silvestrini.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 N. Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah. Friends may visit with family Friday, June 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 11, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary.
Interment, Lindquist's Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Road, South Ogden, Utah.
Services will be live-streamed and may be viewed at www.lindquistmortuary.com by scrolling to the bottom of Mike’s obituary page.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7